Paddy Smith has been working hard the past decade making a name for himself as a strong blues artist in Ireland and the States. After years of sharing his Irish Blues music through gigging and recording, Smith has taken the initiative to establish the very first Meath Blues Festival, which takes place this Saturday, September 26 at Grove Gardens, Fordstown, Kells in Ireland. Twelve prominent Irish Blues acts, including Smith’s “The Paddy Smith Blues Band” will be featured throughout the day.
Paddy Smith: “My personal mission for this festival is to promote Blues music in Ireland and give Blues bands a platform to perform their music. And promote Irish Blues around the world.”
Preparing for the festival has been quite the uphill battle for Paddy, though he does find the process to be a fulfilling venture with the help of music supporters, friends and family. The biggest challenges Smith has faced with setting up the event has been “…funding, insurance, and finding the right location.” Paddy credits his close friends Laura Leaf Gavin, Ben Dillon, James Behan and Philip Young and Smith’s loving mother (“…my biggest fan, my Mum Margaret Smith…”) for being the strongest sources of help in getting the Meath Blues Festival off the ground and to a running start. In addition, Paddy is also grateful to Declan McKeown for taking on the responsibilities as webmaster for his festival’s official website.
Paddy Smith: “I have had the idea for several years now; I have no sponsorship or funding, and my friends are helping me run the festival. I believe if people just come and hear the Blues live, they will get hooked and the blues will grow in IRELAND. My aim is to promote Blues music and culture throughout Ireland and have regular work for all our Blues musicians…this festival is just the start.”
image courtesy Georgina Campbell’s Ireland Guide
Smith hopes for a more nurturing environment for Blues musicians to thrive; he came up with his idea for an annual festival after sharing similar experiences as other musicians when it comes to finding support in the form of festivals and regularly occurring events.
Paddy Smith: “My idea to hold the Meath Blues Festival was born out of frustration at the lack of support for the Blues scene and for Blues musicians in Ireland. We have a depth of top class Blues musicians without a platform to perform and promote the beautiful music and culture that is the Blues.”
image courtesy independent.ie
Paddy, a native of Navan, a market town in County Meath, Ireland, has been writing and performing Blues music for many years as The Smithy Blues Band or The Paddy Smith Blues Band in Ireland and in the United States. He became determined to focus on his Blues music after overcoming alcoholism and surviving the tragic passing of his daughter. Over the years Smith wrote and recorded tracks for his single Fat Cats, his CD Let Those Blues In and his newly released EP Ran Out of Road, with a new CD presently in the works.
Paddy Smith’s personal story and his passion for Blues music has been the focus of a 2015 award-winning documentary titled “Let Those Blues In” (Director: Paul Webster / Producer: Shay Casserley, Waterford Film Festival, Craic Festival New York, Chicago Irish Film Festival); Paddy’s passion for Blues can be felt in his music, which you can find on his official website http://www.smithysblues.com.
Smith’s music is an infectious blend of Blues with a passionate percussive drive. His band The Paddy Smith Blues Band will be part of the festival lineup, which includes eleven other bands which Paddy carefully selected for the festival.
Paddy Smith: “I had a good think about the bands I chose to play at the festival…I wanted to honour the Blues bands that have been promoting the Blues in Ireland for decades, and also add the new Blues bands who are the future of the Blues in Ireland.”
Here’s a list of the Meath Blues Festival lineup with descriptive links:
(band images courtesy official Meath Blues Festival website unless specifies otherwise)
image courtesy Mr Castle website
Paddy has good intentions combined with big ambitions for Blues music in his part of Ireland, and with the help and support from everyone who loves Blues music, the Meath Blues Festival could be just the start of Paddy’s dreams for a strong and nurturing environment for new and established Irish Blues artists.
Paddy Smith: “Yes, I hope this is the start of bigger things to come for the Blues in Ireland, and hope The Meath Blues FESTIVAL will be on the list of places to go annually for everyone.”
For more information about the Meath Blues Festival, please visit the official website:
For anyone interested in supporting the Meath Blues Festival, feel free to share this article, and visit/share Paddy Smith’s Facebook Event posting for his inaugural Meath Blues Festival:
Paddy Smith Blues SoundCloud:
SOURCES FOR THIS ARTICLE:
Meath Chronicle, August 18, 2016
Author: Geoghegan, Jimmy
Entertainment Movie News, October 7, 2015
Author: Drohan, Freya
Documentary: Let Those Blues In / Waterford Film Festival
**url accessed June 2016, EXPIRED URL as of September 2016**